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By ATWadmin On December 17th, 2006

obrien.gifI see that Conor Cruise O’Brien has weighed in on the subject of whether Dr Paisley will "do a deal" and allow the IRA into a local Government, early next year…

For some days, there has been rather feverish speculation in the Dublin and London papers about the intentions of Ian Paisley. Commentators have been suggesting that Paisley is about to do a deal with Sinn Fein, in which he would become First Minister with a Sinn Fein representative as his deputy. Paisley did not initially discourage the speculation. Indeed, he allowed it to be known that he was keeping an open mind.


The Dublin and London media grasped at this signal and suggested the deal was as good as made. I have known the DUP leader very well for nearly half a century now and I know this speculation to be altogether unfounded. Indeed, Paisley would have been crazy to have concluded such a deal. His own followers, who have made him the leader of the largest party in Northern Ireland, would have deserted him enmasse immediately.


But my friend and political ally Bob McCartney believes Paisley was seriously contemplating such a deal and warned him quite earnestly of the political ruin that would follow it. Paisley was quite happy to take on board such a warning. But the Paisley-watchers in the British and Irish Governments refused to take the warning seriously. They really believed he was about to do the deal. As I write, the British and Irish Governments and their press officers are still trying to keep the proposed deal alive, but by now rather forlornly. I expect it will soon collapse and Paisley will become a non-person in the press which the governments control.

I hope Conor is right. I can’t say in all honesty that I share his view on this. There is an unbearable pragmatism in the air which will be further fueled early in the New Year and the portents for a "walk away" scenario as outlined by Conor are poor.

I might be a little cheeky and remind Conor that it was his political ally Bob Mc Cartney who devised the "tar baby" analogy when it came to a previous team of foolish Unionists embracing that which they then found they could not then get away from. Back then, they were also given good advice and ignored it. I feel the same is happening now….time will tell, and all views are welcome.

36 Responses to “WILL PAISLEY “DO THE DEAL”?”

  1. David,
    you hope the process collapses – fair enough.

    But you also hope and the leader of unionism becomes a non-person?

    Taking it all does collapse, it just means unionism is out of the slow frog boil and into the frying pan.

  2. I think a deal will be done. Paisley himslef may not be all that keen to end his political career signing up to a deal with Sinn Fein but many other younger ambitious members of his party will want political power and the trappings of office however limited.

  3. Wheels within wheels here – time will tell.

  4. I agree with Colm, The deal will happen sooner or later. Paisley is not bluffing. If SF makes a positive decision on policing, the DUP will not be found wanting (as one of their number said this weekend).

    It would be interesting, however, if the SF vote rockets in the coming election and SF becomes the largest party in NI (I think the SF vote will fall actually, but this scenario is possible). This would jeopardise the whole thing. Although the difference between the First Minister and D-FM is, of course, only nominal, these symbols are vital for otherwise empty Unionist politics, and the prostpect of a SF FM could be the undoing of the whole shebang.
    The only chance Unionist naysayers have of influencing the issue is therefore to vote Sinn Fein in the coming election. Go for it!

    In any case, the fact that Conman Cruise O’Brien has come out so strongly on this, saying that Paisley will never do the deal (he recently said the DUP would never even talk to SF, and previosly he was telling us SF would soon be destroyed by the US military!) is really all the grounds one needs to be confident that the deal will happen and, in the words of Dickens’ Mr Barcus, Paisley is willing and Paisley is waiting.

  5. Conor Cruise O’Brien’s position is that unionists should embrace a united Ireland rather than suffer either power sharing or joint authority.

    If he is advising Paisley to reject a deal should he not remind him what his alternative is?

  6. Interesting stories today in the Sindo – PIRA links to Gangland scene in ROI, Dec Mackin’s business affairs ( who he ? SF Finance director) and O’Snotty as usual letting the cat out of the bag.

  7. Interesting and Sunday Independent in the same sentence Madradin?

    The problem is the newspaper never cites sources so you get the same stories rehashed week after week as if it is news. Giving your opinion isn’t fact.

    If they gave us names fair enough but it’s a lazy paper.

    Hard as you may believe I have much greater respect for newspapers like the Sunday World which tackle the criminals head on, name them, say what they are doing etc.

    That’s why Paul Williams has 24 hour Garda protection and Cusack is a waffling fool who no one takes seriously, not even the criminals.

  8. Garfie – they named Mackin and O’Snotty – what more do you want?

    Interesting thought though – did the ROI realise that the "peace process" in the north would make things so much worse in the ROI ? I think we all sort of expected some trouble from "unemployed" republicans – but as there was little blood spilt in the ROI during the tail end of the troubles, has the Peace Process been a "good" deal for the ROI – bearing in mind the impact the unemployed IRA men are having on organised crime in the ROI and the appalling levels of murder, extortion and drug crime that has the gardai floundering?

  9. Madradin,
    I am talking about the Dublin criminal gangland scene Madradin, nothing in that article.

    Things worse in the Repubic? Are you crazy? Nobody in Dublin gives a crap about 20 or 30 gangsters killing each other in a year so why should the businessmen and investors?

    It’s been a great year for business with a huge surplus. Things have never been better.

    And if you think Irish people think these murdering bozos are a greater threat to the Irish state than the Provos were, then you have a screw loose.

    There’s a lot of money in Ireland so there are a lot of criminals looking to make a buck.

    It’s frontier boomtown time.

    They don’t think it’s republicans, they think it’s the same Dublin scumbags who robbed them with AIDS infested syringes ten years ago.

    Now there are richer pickings so the scumbags are even more desperate.

  10. <Q>Things worse in the Repubic? Are you crazy?</Q>

    Ask the father of Anthony Campbell.

    <Q>It’s been a great year for business with a huge surplus. Things have never been better.</Q>

    That’s it ? Loads of money in Medellin and Marseilles …. Is that what Ireland is to become ?

    You need to open your eyes.

    Anybody else prepared to take a realistic look at the effect of the Peace Process in ROI ?

  11. Garfie : <Q>Things worse in the Repubic? Are you crazy?</Q>

    meanwhile :
    <Q>Gardaí: Organised Crime at highest ever level in Dublin</Q>

  12. Madradin,
    wrong person in the wrong time. Very sad but even with the gangland killings Ireland still has one of the lowest murder rates in the world. That’s the reality.

    Maybe you could name me another "inoccent victim" this year?

    The murder rate is not much different than it was 10 years ago and the population is probably 20% bigger.

    You have to open your eyes to the reality that every city has criminals and at the moment, Dublin’s are fighting over large amounts of cash from the booming economy.

    The UK has a much bigger murder rate, the US is in the stratosphere compared to Ireland.

    The Peace Process has been good for the Republic, the murder rate isn’t any higher and everyone is much richer. I’m sorry if it hasn’t been good for you.

    You can try and say there are hundreds of guns for hire if you want but only Cusack will believe you.

    He’ll probably cite you as an unnamed source in his next article.

    In the meantime, the rest of the country will get on with the hard work needed to make Ireland Europe’s top economy for the 15th year in a row.

  13. Such smug complacency.

    Luckily for the ROI there are those who disagree with you.

    <Q>Prayers said for gangland victims</Q>


  14. For example Madradin,

    There were 62 murders in Ireland in 1991 and this year there have been 62 with 1 million more people.

  15. >>realistic look at the effect of the Peace Process in ROI<<

    The effect of the Peace Process on both parts of Ireland was and is good in every sense.

    However, one possible future negative effect could be that no majority govt can be formed without SF next spring, although the situation is unlikely.

  16. I know you don’t like dealing with facts Madradin but maybe you can explain to me why the murder rate has dropped from where it was 15 years ago?

    You want to believe that there are republican guns for hire running around the criminal gangs of Dublin. You want to believe the state is in danger, you want to believe it is all going terribly wrong.

    Believe what you like. The reality is otherwise.

  17. >>there are those who disagree with you.<<

    MR, I’m sure all the people in the article you quote would agree with Garfield.

    However, Garfield there were at least 2, probably more, innocent murder victims in the past week alone: that unfortanate house-painter lad and the postmaster of the PO in Kilkenny.

  18. It’s my understanding that the crime levels in the ROI did indeed peak in the late 80s and early 90s – reaching a low in 1998 – and started to rise rapidly thereafter.
    Coincidence that the surge occurred after the GFA?

  19. Cunningham,
    the plumber is the Anthony Campbell Madradin was talking about and the Kilkenny postmaster was allegedly gunned down by a Chinese asylum seeker.

    I didn’t realise the IRA had Chinese republican guns for hire.

    The Campbell murder could be the catalyst because he is an innocent. There aren’t very many outside the criminal world who are gunned down so no one cared.

    Look at the papers and now they are talking about it being time since this guy’s murder. Before now, not many cared.

    It’s a sort of a Veronica Guerin moment revisited.

    I don’t know if these Dublin scumbags need republican gunmen, they are well up to it themselves.

    A big problem is that drug dealers are throwing in weapons with their drug deals that arrive in Ireland so these buckos are coked up, armed and have a lot to gain.

  20. Dangerous – though understandable from your point of view – to pretend that Republican terrorists wouldn’t consort with/ do deals with Drug dealers. There’s considerable overlap.

  21. >>It’s my understanding that the crime levels in the ROI did indeed peak in the late 80s and early 90s – reaching a low in 1998 – and started to rise rapidly thereafter.
    Coincidence that the surge occurred after the GFA?<<

    No, MR, the upsurge in serious crime did not start till 2005, in fact. For the previous decade, i.e. the decade of the peace process, there was an unprecedented drop in figures for serious crime (down on average by around 30%).

    Neutral observers (i.e. those not working for Tony O’Reilly’s rags) believe this is due for the most part to the rising demand for drugs among young people, due in turn to rising levels of surplus cash. The criminal gangs are now much more professional, and lethal, about the drugs trade. They have also seemingly solved the logistics of running guns into the country at will. Most of the guns used in these killings are believed to have been imported along with the drugs from southern Europe. They are all “clean” guns.

    As a general word of warning: don’t believe anything Jim Cusack writes about SF or the IRA unless it’s confirmed elsewhere. He has been found out lying too many times. While sound criticism of both (or the one?) organisations is needed, the Sindo has such an obsession with SF that it defeats its very purpose. One Sunday I counted no less than 11 pieces of vitriol against SF in its so-called “Analysis” section. Nobody except the few Unionists in RoI and elsewhere take it seriously on this score any more, especially since it was so comprehensively exposed by Vincent Browne in “Village”.



  22. Madradin,
    why are you making things up? I never said anything about terrorists not consorting with drug dealers.

    Seeing how unionist communities have been ravaged by their unionist terrorist overlords is proof that they do.

    You have little understanding of the Dublin criminal gangland world if you think republicans, northern or otherwise, are major players there or that they are offering countless guns for hire.

    These scumbags were here before the republicans and will be here long after they are gone.

    You know nothing about Dublin and its seedy underbelly it seems. Sorry but you can’t blame the Provos for that one.

    Hell they probably deal as much with unionist terrorists as they do with republican ones when it comes to peddling the drugs. These guys only care about "business".

  23. <Q>why are you making things up? I never said anything about terrorists not consorting with drug dealers.</Q>

    I never said you did …DOH!

    And let’s not forget – while you bragged about the ROI have relatively low levels of crime …NI has even lower levels 🙂

  24. Good for you and yours Madradin.

    By the way you do remember Dublin’s leading criminal Martin Cahill helped organise the attempted bombing by loyalists of Dublin’s best known republican pub.

    The best example of where these guys’ priorities lie.

    Loyalists offered a market for the drugs – Belfast.

  25. <Q>upsurge in serious crime did not start till 2005,</Q>

    Cunningham – your figures make my case – the huge jump in murder levels coincides with Adams and McGuinness cutting their terrorists adrift…in 2005 🙂

  26. <Q>By the way you do remember Dublin’s leading criminal Martin Cahill helped organise the attempted bombing by loyalists of Dublin’s best known republican pub.

    The best example of where these guys’ priorities lie.</Q>

    That’s very revealing Garfie.

    Your objection NOT being to a pub bombing, but to the target being in the ROI.

  27. for those who havent seen it. bufallo soldiers has just started on channel 4.

  28. MR

    "Your objection NOT being to a pub bombing, but to the target being in the ROI"

    That is about the most outlandish distortion of a comment I have ever seen. It is simply laughable.

  29. Madradin,
    you seem to be living in a world of your own with that last comment where you make things up as you go along to fit into your world view.

    I hope you learn some day to come to terms with your bitterness. I’m too busy watching Oceans Eleven to care what you are imagining.

    Speaking of imagining, am I the only one who thinks Julia Roberts has the worst deportment of any of Hollywood’s leading ladies?

    I don’t get C4 so I’m on TV3.

  30. Mad,

    The ROI is far from being a Utopia. No one claims it is a Utopia.

    Its got its problems just like every other country in Europe. Its disgusting to see human lives valued so little by these gangs. They are scum. Yes, there maybe former republicans involved in these gangs, but for the moment, this has yet to register with the public, so people are not in general making a connection between the peace process and gang crime.

    >>but as there was little blood spilt in the ROI during the tail end of the troubles, <<

    mad, ive seen you post a few comments like this and they worry me a little to be honest. Im not sure what point you are making.

    anyone who believes that the ROI should have suffered more in the troubles, are themselves a supporter of terrorism. Terrorism is WRONG full stop.. the last thing we need is for people to believe that because 3000 people lost their lives in NI during the conflict, that similar numbers should have lost their lives in the ROI. I know thats not what your saying, so im not accusing you of that. More a case of me making the general point

    As for the Sindo. Please stop reading this RUBBISH.. it really really is awful tripe that stuff. If you want to read papers from the ROI, then try to read the Sunday Business post or the tribune.

    Bullet starts on RTE 1 at 1.00 am folks. Now theres a classic

  31. film trivia fact #28473

    the original music score for Bufallo Soldiers was penned by Belfasts David Holmes. Who along with a few others ran the legendary Sugarsweet club night, which introduced acid-house to northern ireland. it is often credited for crossing the community divide in belfast at time when it was most needed.

    the memories.

  32. Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell if you are interested Madradin. This is from a newspaper of record published Monday.

    “There are a few people who did associate on the fringe of the Provos who’ve been involved in recent gangland activity, that’s true.

    “But that is not the same as saying the Provos are getting back into crime. If I thought for a moment that was the case, I would hot foot it down to the Taoiseach and we would go public and bring it to the attention of the public."

    If you don’t hold much truck with Garda intelligence and people who actually know what they are talking about like the Minister for Justice, I recommend you continue reading the Sunday Independent.

    It will tell you exactly what you want to hear.

  33. How funny to hear you of all people quoting McDowell Garfie 🙂

    The man is wriggling frantically.

    Two more people shot in Limerick. One dead.

  34. "They Sow the Wind, and Reap the Whirlwind"

    Hosea 8:1-14

    Kloot – I feel sorry for the people of the ROI. However their Government and their system was complicit in the events in the North – and did very little about terrorism as long as it was "only" the Brits and "their allies" getting it in the neck.
    Times have changed now – and republicans no longer need a safe haven in the ROI , so they are no longer as well behaved.

  35. "As for the Sindo. Please stop reading this RUBBISH.. it really really is awful tripe that stuff. If you want to read papers from the ROI, then try to read the Sunday Business post or the tribune."


    A very loud HEAR, HEAR to that!! The Sunday World probably has a higher standard of "journalism" than that rag.

  36. Interesting piece on the evening news – the Gommint is "consulting" about allowing Bookies and Bingo Halls to open on the Sabbath – the consultation period ends about the same time as the deadline in March for the executive….. and of course if up and running it would be the executive that would have the last word on the matter.

    This wouldn’t be an attempt to pressure Paisley and the DUP by any chance ?